LA Clippers to be Sold at Two Billion Dollars

July 25, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. estranged /ɪˈstreɪndʒd/ (adj.) – referring to someone who is no longer connected with another person or an object
Example: His estranged wife will marry another man.

2. ensue /ɛnˈsu/ (v.) – to take place after an event as a result of the action
Example: The championship game ensued after the semi-finals.

3. racist /ˈreɪ sɪst/ (adj.) – referring to someone who believes that one race is better or superior than another race
Example: Many groups aim to eliminate racist attitudes toward ethnic groups.

4. sign off /ˈsaɪnˌɔf, -ˌɒf/ (v.) – to legally agree on or authorize something
Example: After agreeing on the price, the buyer signed off on the contract.

5. exemplary /ɪgˈzɛm plə ri, ˈɛg zəmˌplɛr i/ (adj.) – referring to something good that people should imitate
Example: His exemplary conduct earned him an award.


Read the text below.
Sources confirmed that Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer [BAL-muhr] will purchase LA Clippers for $2 billion.

The news came after Shelly Sterling, LA Clippers’ co-owner and the estranged wife of Donald Sterling, made a binding agreement from the Sterling family trust. The final legal step to purchasing the team is the approval of the NBA Board of Governors.

The sale of the team ensued after Donald Sterling made racist remarks, which prompted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to ban Sterling from the NBA and fine him $2.5 million. Furthermore, 29 other teams are taking legal actions to take him out of the NBA.

However, Maxwell Blecher, Sterling’s attorney, said his client has not signed off the deal and has no intentions of selling the team. Blecher added that the NBA tarnished Sterling’s 33-year record as an exemplary owner. Since this issue erupted, Sterling said that he has been offended by the comments aimed at him and is even planning to sue the NBA if the resolutions do not favor him.

If the deal is finalized, it will be the biggest price tag paid for an NBA franchise. The LA Clippers is one of the most famous teams in the NBA, with stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul playing in the game. Their contracts will both end in 2016.

Ballmer, whose net worth was priced at $20 billion by the Forbes Magazine, first bid $1.8 billion for the team. Shelly Sterling, however, wanted at least $2 billion as starting price, so Ballmer closed the bid with a staggering price of $2 billion. Other bidders were David Geffen and Oprah Winfrey.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are the pros and cons of purchasing an NBA team?
·         In your opinion, what can Steve Ballmer get from purchasing the team?

Discussion B

·         Is racism common in your country? Why or why not?
·         How would you react if people say bad things about your country?

July 25, 2014